Sport in Schools

Question Time — Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 12th June 2003.

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Photo of Cathie Craigie Cathie Craigie Labour 2:30 pm, 12th June 2003

To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to promote sport in schools. (S2O-187)

Photo of Frank McAveety Frank McAveety Labour

Through the Scottish budget for 2003-06, which was published earlier this year, the Executive announced the investment of £24 million in the development of the active primary schools programme and the school sports development officer programme.

Photo of Cathie Craigie Cathie Craigie Labour

I welcome that investment. However, will the minister give support to the many volunteers who back up what is happening in schools by giving their time and energy to participate in sporting activities outwith school hours—at weekends, for example? In some areas, education facilities are willingly made available to organisations, but that is not the practice in all education authority areas. How will the minister encourage sporting facilities that are owned by education authorities—and therefore by the public—to be made more readily available for voluntary use?

Photo of Frank McAveety Frank McAveety Labour

One of the key elements in the programmes is the development to link in with local community sports clubs. Through the provision of the £24 million, we wish to see a willingness to engage with local communities and particularly the many thousands of volunteers who have held together many sports clubs throughout Scotland. The sportscotland commitment on the design framework for new schools takes into account sporting facilities. Through a combination of new resources, partnership at a local level and a broader framework, we confidently believe that we can make a difference in respect of many matters that the member has raised.